Alan Pardew


By Tom Easterby

 

Alan Pardew has backed his players to recover from a damaging run of recent results at Stoke City on Saturday (3.07pm kick off).

The Newcastle United boss has seen his side ship 11 goals without scoring themselves in their last three games, against Everton, Southampton and Manchester United.

With the Magpies now set to face an in-form Potters side, who have taken 13 points from their last six fixtures, Pardew wants his players to display the sort of grit and resolution that has seen them through tougher times in the past.

"I think pressure on any squad has to be channelled in the right way," explained the United manager.

"We've got to channel that pressure that's on us into a performance, and that's something that we've done well at this football club in the past.

"We've had a lot of pressure on us in different circumstances and we've dealt well with it, particularly since I've been here, so I'm very confident that these players can deal with that pressure.

"I think this is a tough game for us this weekend on the back of the results we've had, but we're going to have to face it full on."

Pardew will again be forced to watch from the stands at the Britannia Stadium as he serves the penultimate game of his touchline ban, but reiterated his desire for his charges to push on and go into the summer break on a high.

"I think that is important. When you look at our games, we have sort of contrasting games," he said.

"We could ultimately be in a title decider in the last game of the season, so it's very, very important that we keep our focus and try and finish as high as we can and make some impact.

"I don't think any manager likes to go into the summer on a losing run, so it's something we need to address."

The 52-year-old is also mindful of the tough task ahead in facing Mark Hughes' men, who went through March unbeaten.

"The crowd are terrific for Stoke, and they have been through the Tony Pulis years and now with Mark, so it's a difficult environment," said Pardew.

"They've mixed their game up, changed the way they play a little - for the better if I'm honest. It seems to suit the players they have at the moment and it's a difficult game for us."